First meeting with children in Mojiang in the rain

Rainy day in Yunnan

Where: Mojiang
Weather: Raining
Temperature: 14 degrees Celsius

After having to go through 1 day of transferring airplanes and 5 hours of driving, we’ve finally arrived at our hotel in Mojiang, China, and it was already 8 o’clock at night. The next morning, everyone seemed to be all refreshed from last night’s sleep, and we were all excited to meet the little kids.

DaDong village:
Population: 3,700 and 92% is Hani tribe (there are 25 ethnic minorities in Yunnan)

After you get out of the car, it takes around 10 minutes to get to DaDong primary school by walking. Then there is a muddy and rocky lane that’s hard to walk on waiting for you.

Walking on a dirt path in Yunnan

Ying Chang, one of Save the Children’s local volunteers, said that DaDong primary school has never got any financial help before, and there are only 8 teachers for 140 students.

DaDong school
Because it is a remote area, the kids have to walk almost 2 hours so some of them live in school dorms. Boys’ dorms are right behind the classroom, and they sleep in bunk beds. Instructors come at night to guide them for their self-study sessions.

DaDong school
When you look above the ceiling, you can see there are only a few light bulbs for their lighting. And I saw myself turning on several light bulbs without much thinking once I arrive home. We all need to appreciate the things we have.

It’s lunch time. The school adopted a central kitchen system, and the kids bring their plates to get food. Although there are only 2 side dishes and one meat dish, the kids are very excited to have lunch.

Children eating
Simplistic dorms do not have much of a public area. One corner of the office is called the “library”, and at the moment I saw it I wanted to bring in an IKEA BILLY bookshelf.

It’s drawing time. One little kid was shy to show me his work and I can see a little Picasso in him!

Child with bear drawing
The kids were super enthusiastic when we were playing Taiwan’s traditional “carrot squats”. Miss Wen Chi then had to calm them down with her magic show. The kids concentrated hard on her show.

Children in DaDong
In DaDong primary school, we have come across some wonderful kids. Although the facilities were not fully equipped, I see kids studying very hard. I am happy for them, and I look forward to seeing them growing in happiness.

Happy child in DaDong

The traditional house of the Hani tribe has an upper-floored barn with piles of crops they grow, such as corns and peanuts. There is a living room, kitchen and a room downstairs. The kids’ parents live by agricultural means, but each and every Hani tribe member has skills and talents to play traditional operas. While we listened to the music, we enjoyed the refreshments that they made themselves.

A family in their home
I could see the Hani tribe’s great hospitality and their enthusiasm from one kid’s parents.

I thought she didn’t want to take pictures with us when we first asked her and walked away, but we came to realize that she wanted to show us what the Hani tribe’s culture is like.

She was reluctant to let us go by the time we had to leave, and she gave each one of us a big hug. She was constantly saying this sentence: “You should come visit again!” We turned our backs facing her, looked up the sky, it was raining, and we found some tears in our eyes.

A Hani woman walks with us

    Seal Liu